The Long Way to New York: Trip Planning
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge, Singapore
Singapore Airlines A330 Business Class SIN-BKK
Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa, BKK
Thai Airways B747 First Class BKK-HND
Getting from HND to NRT
ANA First Class Lounge, NRT
ANA B77W First Class NRT-ORD
United Club ORD
United B767 Economy ORD-EWR
Visiting the US Open
Sheraton New York Times Square
Hilton New York Midtown
Wingtips Lounge JFK & Delta to DC
Exploring Washington DC
Element New York Times Square West
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, JFK
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites JFK-FRA
Lufthansa Senator Lounge FRA
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites FRA-SIN
If you book award tickets with Lifemiles, there is a chance that you’ll be put on a routing requiring you to change airports. This is especially the case in Japan, where both HND and NRT see a fair amount of Star Alliance traffic. If you’re trying to get to North America, it is quite possible that you’ll fly first to HND and onwards from NRT. This was the routing I ended up with- I was flying TG to HND but my onwards flight to ORD would be through NRT.
Now, if this happens to you, what you need to know is the following
- Your bag needs to be collected in HND and brought to NRT
- You need to budget at least 3 hours for the transfer
- Airlines do not provide transfer between HND or NRT, your options are to either take the train, take a taxi or take a bus
Your travel time and price will vary depending on your mode of ground transportation
- Time: 90-115 mins
- Cost: 1,760-3,080 JPY
- Time: 60-80 mins
- Cost: ~25,000 JPY
- Time: 65-85 mins
- Cost: 3,100 JPY
Although the train could be about half the price of the bus, I didn’t fancy having to change trains and lug my bags up and down stations so I opted for the bus. The bus really isn’t really much slower than a taxi, the only thing you’re really solving for by taking a taxi is more privacy. For more stories about transferring check out this FT thread.
I know people are concerned about being able to find the right bus stop and how to buy tickets and all that. Let me assure you that it is exceedingly easy. If someone as muddled as myself can do it…
You will need to clear immigration first. Once you exit immigration, look for this counter for taxis, car rental and bus services. It’s really hard to miss, it’s right where you exit after baggage claim. You can always ask at any information desk. This counter is opposite the tourist information kiosk where you buy your metro cards.
Here you can see the price list for buses to different destinations. Note the JPY 3,100 fare for HND-NRT.
The queues usually move really fast
You can pay for your ticket with cash or card. Buses depart every 20-30 mins, you can see the timetable here.
After you have your ticket, follow the signs for the bus.
Keep walking. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see this sign. Take the escalator on the right down to the ground level.
In my case, the bus left from pier 5. But this may not always be the case, always look at what is on your ticket.
And of course it’s always prudent to check the sign on the bus says “Narita Airport”
That’s it! Some buses will have Wifi, but they’re generally clean, very comfortable and in my case was only half full, so everyone got an empty seat next to them. The bus may pick up a few more passengers at the domestic Haneda terminal before heading off to Narita, but you’ll reliably be at Narita within 80 minutes of leaving Haneda.
Of course the seats can’t compare to what was awaiting me at Narita…